What role do you play in your family?
My first response is nonexistent, but that is not altogether true. Growing up, I was the mediator in the family. Squabbles occurred frequently between my parents and my siblings. I never enjoyed confrontations and hated arguments. I would wait for everyone to go to neutral corners of the house and then attempt to work out amicable deals. I just wanted everyone to get along. My dad was always the first to break. Like myself, he didn’t like confrontations. My brother, although quite a hot-head, would usually break next. My mother and sister were equally stubborn. Neither wanted to give in. Depending on which one started the arguments with others in the family, they both usually got their ways. If it was an argument between mother and sister, mother usually got the upper-hand. Usually.
Around the age of 14 and until I left home at 18, I became less noticeable at home, often ignored outright. No one wanted to hear my opinions or allowed me to mediate. I became aloof, quiet and often spent most of my time avoiding the entire family. This would continue on throughout my life. I lived away from them, generally doing my own thing and tried not to get involved with family feuds. There was a huge feud once between my brother and sister and they did try to drag me into it. Each wanted me to take their side. I refused and went on with my life. They did eventually work it out, although there is still some tension between them to this day. And right before mother died, dad and my sister had a bit of a tussle over mother’s care. I know dad still resents her a bit, even though now he makes excuses for her behavior back then.
Even now, living once again with Dad and my brother, the three of us mostly get along. I’ve been home just over two years and we’ve only had three brief squabbles. Once between dad and I, and twice between my brother and I. Although he has a lot of reasons to do so, dad never confronts my brother about anything. He’s expressed his frustration to me, but doesn’t say anything to my brother. We’ve all apologized to one another over our little scuffles and let the arguments go. It’s hard to stay mad when we live in such tight proximity to one another. I don’t speak much to my sister, and we’ve had no real disagreements since I’ve returned home. I’ve been upset with her a couple of times, but I haven’t made big issues out of them or confronted her about them. I think mother was the main instigator for most of the family conflicts and the reason some of them lasted so long. Since she’s passed, a bit of peace has returned to the family.